What’s the best Patreon reward?

It’s exclusive game content or backer builds, obviously! But apart from that:

Which patreon rewards would you be most interested in?

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Easy Mode

A quick way to get a look at new content. All tomes and locations unlocked by default, reduced in-game prices, and if you fail to recruit a minion, you can undo your last turn.

Hard Mode

A retune for roguelike replayability. More intense invasions, and a bad ending scene if you lose. Designed to be shorter and much tougher.

Cheat Menu

Just go hog wild: insta-recruit minions, give your self more mana, complete minion transformations immediately, etc.

Backer Discord

I hear people like these? I’m probably not going to turn voice on for you though, no offense. 🙂

My Biggest Regret With Fleshcult 1

My biggest regret is that Fleshcult is a server based game. You click a button, it sends a request to the server, and all the processing happens there in Python code.

There are several disadvantages:

  • It doesn’t run offline. If the server goes down, nobody can play.
  • There’s no easy way to keep multiple versions of the game live. I was always careful to keep saved games backward compatible because I know players can’t just fire up an older version, so my ability to make drastic changes was limited.
  • Modding is completely impossible.
  • I haven’t been able to do a totally unrestrained promotional push, because I know the server can only take so much before it lags out horribly or starts spitting errors. Server administration isn’t my forte.

This is all my own stupid fault.

Web browsers can’t run Python without some kind of translation layer, so fixing this is daunting. I’ve been looking for Python to Javascript translation tools and I’ve finally found something that looks doable but it still requires 3 months of work. This isn’t exactly good for Patreon momentum.

The Plan

Here’s how I’d do it gradually, instead making everybody eat all their veggies before dessert:

  • Add content to the server version for a couple of months, all the while doing prep and fixing up code that translates poorly.
  • Fork the code into a server version and a Javascript version. I’d split my time between programming the Javascript version and writing text for the server version. Text is easy to merge when I need to bring the Javascript version up to date with all the latest stuff.
  • Announce a final push and spend a month 100% focused on programming the Javascript version.
  • After making it public and doing a bunch of bugfixes, call that initial Javascript version “Fleshcult Classic” and archive it off.
  • Start work on Fleshcult 2 from the same codebase. Then can I start making really big changes.

What do you guys think? Technical details below the fold.

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What would you like to see in Fleshcult 2?

If I started work on a sequel to Fleshcult, what would you like to see changed?

I have lots of ideas myself, and I’m mulling over a Patreon campaign with a detailed roadmap, but first I’d like to see what everybody else is thinking without tipping the discussion in a particular direction.

(If you’re wondering, yes, this does mean my G-rated games business got indiepocalypsed. Oh well)

RAGS in 2018

Have you made a RAGS Game?

You should check out Regalia. It’s an enhancement to the (unfinished) HTML export in RAGS Designer 2.4. You run the export, run Regalia on the export, and then nobody has to install the godawful RAGS Player to play your game.

It’s open source so there’s a pretty good prospect for it eventually supporting every feature in RAGS.

Wait, what’s RAGS?

RAGS is a graphical adventure game creation system that’s popular in several different adult video game scenes. Unfortunately it’s Windows only, tricky to install correctly, largely unmaintained, and has a couple of mutually incompatible versions.

The biggest source of the trouble is that the .RAG format is a renamed SQL Server Compact Edition database. This is an undocumented binary file format called SDF (no relation to signed distance fields). RAGS player relies on SQL Server Compact being installed in order to open the databases. That’s why you have to run two separate installers to install the player. Microsoft is dropping support for SQLSCE in 2021. The old installers will probably work for a while after that point, but there’s no telling when OS or .Net changes will break them.

.RAG files are a terrible way to distribute games and we should stop doing that.

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Release v1.00

Current status:

  1. In testing.
  2. An outage of approximately 1 hour.
  3. Finished.

This release won’t change anything about the game itself. I’m making improvements to player privacy because a lot of disturbing news is coming out of the US just now.

  • In Fleshcult, people choose which gender they want to play and which gender they want to fuck.
  • Fleshcult used an email address during sign up. Lots of people used a burner address (sensible!), but not everybody did.
  • I’m not in the USA, but my server is.
  • If Trump gets himself shot, impeached or ousted, Pence controls the US surveillance apparatus.
  • Pence really doesn’t like LGBT people.
  • It’s a really bad idea for me to have a  database that connects people’s email addresses with sexuality info lying around.

Here’s the plan:

  • Turn all the email addresses into hashes, much like I do with passwords. Reversing a hash is pretty difficult, so hopefully that should render the database useless to anybody who gets their hands on it.
  • You can still log into your old accounts. When you enter an email address I hash it and compare that hash against the database one.
  • You can use anything as an account username now, not just an email address. If you’re still worried, feel free to log in and change your username to something that’s not an email address.
  • Before hashing, I made a list of the emails of everyone who has opted to be on the newsletter, burned that list to a DVD, and stuffed it in my closet. It’s just email addresses, no sexuality info. If I ever restart development, I’ll use that to announce it.
  • I removed the Forgot Your Password system because it relies on being able to send mail.
  • You can’t buy account upgrades any more because that relies on mail.

Sorry about the inconvenience, but it’s important to take precautions before they’re required. I know I never finished that infestation tome, but this is all I could eke out time for. If the update broke something, let me know at: jack (at) (the game name) .com

Retiring the forum

So finally I found out why Fleshcult’s account confirmation e-mails were getting delayed or eaten by spam filters.

I checked up on the forum after not looking at it for a while and the account table had hundreds and hundreds of inactive accounts that had been made, but not activated via e-mail. All the profiles had spam links in their bios. Seems like somebody sucks at writing spambots and assumed either they’d be listed in a user directory or would be able to post before e-mail confirmation.

This would all be fine if the spammers used their own e-mails, but instead they’re using real people’s e-mails scraped from the web. People who have never heard of Fleshcult and understandably mark a forum account confirmation e-mail as spam. So that’s been tanking my reputation with spam filters.

The forum is basically disused at this point, so I’ll put a static copy up in its place as an archive. At the moment it’s a 404 but I’ll be tackling that shortly. Edit: Done.

Secondly I’m no longer making people register a user account in Fleshcult itself after day 10. Just don’t come crying to me if you’re playing unregistered and Private Browsing eats the cookie that has your game progress in it. 🙂

E-mail sending outage (25-27 Feb)

Mandrill, my former e-mail provider, discontinued the service I was using and I botched switching over to a new service. Between 25 and 27 February any attempts by the game or the forums to send e-mails resulted in an Internal Server Error. I didn’t notice because I botched the error monitoring too. I fixed the game yesterday and the forums just now.

If you see any more problems, report them to jack@fleshcult.com

Sorry about that. 🙁

What’s new with me

I have a publishing deal to make a G-rated game! I’ve alluded to this before in the forums, but now it’s all signed. I can’t say what it is, because I like to keep my fetish games persona separate from my G-rated persona. (It’s not that I’m ashamed or think Fleshcult would cost me work, it’s that sex games are so lurid and attention-grabbing that I worry that any media coverage I get for a non-sex game would typecast me as that sex games guy)

It’ll keep me busy throughout 2015 and 2016. If Fleshcult breaks I’ll make time to fix it, but I won’t have any time to make any additions to it. So lemmie apologise to anyone who expected that Fleshcult would be getting updates in the near future. Thanks to the folks who have used the Payp*l donation link in the game, it’s really helped cover hosting expenses.

Release v0.99

This one’s just a maintenance update. (No, I haven’t restarted development. Sorry for getting your hopes up RSS readers!)

Changes:

  • Installed some library updates. This has changed the cookie format, which means you’ll have to log in again. If you didn’t make a login at all, then I’m afraid your current game will be inaccessible. This kind of thing is why I have the 10 turn limit on playing without an account.
  • Swapped out an under performing ad network.
  • Tweaked some strangely worded passages.

Release v0.98

This one’s just a wee release with a couple of fixes and ad improvements. Meanwhile, the prototyping of new game ideas continues…

  • Filled in missing body part descriptions for tattoos and vaginal/anal training.
  • Players can now revert back to demon wings.
  • Ad tweaks.